|General of Shu Han|
Ma Dai (birth and death dates unknown) was a military general of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period. He previously served under his uncle Ma Teng, a warlord in northwestern China, during the late Eastern Han Dynasty. After Ma Teng's death, he followed his cousin Ma Chao (Ma Teng's eldest son) and they joined the warlord Zhang Lu in Hanzhong for a short period of time. Ma Chao later defected to another warlord Liu Bei, and Ma Dai accompanied him. Ma Dai served under Liu Bei and later in the state of Shu Han (founded by Liu Bei).
Not much information on Ma Dai is found in historical records. It is known that in 234, he participated in the fifth Northern Expedition led by Shu's chancellor Zhuge Liang to attack the Shu's rival state Cao Wei. During that campaign, he was defeated by the Wei general Niu Jin. Ma Dai was also credited with slaying the Shu general Wei Yan, who was alleged to have turned against Shu after the death of Zhuge Liang.
Ma Dai appears as a character in the historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong, in which he is given a larger role. In the novel, he followed Ma Teng to the capital on a summon from Cao Cao, and survived when Ma Teng and his sons were killed by Cao Cao's men in a trap. He joined his cousin Ma Chao in the Battle of Tong Pass against Cao Cao, and accompanied Ma Chao when the latter was defeated and had to seek refuge under Zhang Lu of Hanzhong. He followed Ma Chao and came to serve Liu Bei when his cousin defected to Liu during Liu Bei's takeover of Yi Province.
Ma Dai participated actively in southern campaign against the Nanman and the Northern Expeditions against the rival state of Cao Wei. After Zhuge Liang's death, the Shu general Wei Yan rebelled, and Ma Dai pretended to support him but killed him later.
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